A new research partnership between the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership and two leading international business schools was announced on March 27, 2007 as part of a presentation by Dr. Andrea Ordanini of Bocconi University. Dr. Ordanini is Deputy Director of the Customer and Service Science Lab at Bocconi University, the first research centre dedicated to the service management field.

The research partnership includes the Institute of Innovation Research (IoIR) at Manchester Business School, Manchester UK. Scholars from each university will form the core research team. The research announcement coincided with Dr. Ordanini’s visit to Suffolk University as the newest Associate Fellow of the Center. The research collaboration represents the foundational/kickoff project of the newly constituted Customer and Service Science lab at the Bocconi University.

The research partnership will focus on innovation in knowledge-intensive business services. Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) are a subset of business services whose primary outcomes take the form of knowledge assets. Examples of KIBS are IT services, design and R&D services, consultancy, marketing services. The share of KIBS is growing in developed economies and KIBS are considered one of the most important engines of growth. KIBS play a crucial role as key competitive facilitators in the economy and KIBS firms often act as key partners in developing technological and organizational innovations with their clients., The growth of KIBS is the consequence of the increasing tendency of firms to outsource some core processes and critical resources to specialized service providers.

The purpose of this research program is three fold:
•Understand innovation processes employed in KIBS firms, at the firm level, in some relevant segments of the service sector;
•Investigate the relationships between the key features of such innovation processes and the performance of service firms.
•Test the role of KIBS supplier firms as innovation facilitators for user (client) firms.

This project will seek external funding from European and US funding sources. The Center as the US partner is seeking funding from US sources for the US field research commencing in 2007-2008.

Research Team

Management Professor Robert DeFillippi, co-director of the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership (CICL) and Mark Lehrer, Associate Professor of Management constitute the core CICL research team members of this international partnership.

The Bocconi core research team will include Deputy Director Andrea Ordaining and Gaia Rubera, a PhD candidate at Bocconi University, with skills in innovation and marketing management of services.

The UK research team from the Institute of Innovation Research (IoIR) at Manchester Business School, Manchester UK, will be led by Professors Marcela Miozzo and Damian Grimshaw, who are co-editors of a soon to be published book on Knowledge-Intensive Business Services and have extensive publications on outsourcing in IT.